President Vladimir Putin promised extra funding to Russia’s regions on Wednesday and said small and medium-sized businesses would be eligible for direct state aid to help the economy cope during the coronavirus outbreak.
Russia has reported 24,490 infections and 198 deaths from the new coronavirus, with lockdown measures imposed across the country at the discretion of regional governors.
Russia, with over $550 billion in reserves and relatively low debt, has been cautious in boosting state support to fight coronavirus so far, as oil prices have fallen well below the budget balance level of $42 per barrel.
Putin’s first round of emergency measures, which included declaring that most employees should stop working for a period with full pay, had left many small business owners wondering how they would meet wage and other bills.
During a government meeting on Wednesday, Putin said that Russia’s regions would receive 200 billion roubles ($2.7 billion) in additional support and pledged more than 23 billion roubles to Russian airlines.
He offered more support to small and medium-sized businesses, pledging direct funding for salary payments at the upper level of the minimum wage, at 12,130 roubles a month. More »